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I’ve come a long way, baby

I posted this on the iVillage DS board today, and though it uses pictures I’ve posted recently here and on Braska’s blog, I thought I’d repost it here. Because sometimes I forget just how blessed I am…

Lately, my attitude-filled toddler is not wanting to cooperate with the dozens of pictures that I take every day. So I get a lot of unusable pictures. BUT her dad captured one on Sunday that made me stop and really realize how far we've come...

Just over 44 months ago, Braska was born, we were shocked, I went into meltdown, and all rational thought left my brain, apparently. Even though I'd had experience with a variety of teens and adults with disabilities, including DS, I had a picture in my head of what my little girl would be like, and it wasn't pretty. It was grim, and boring, and unfun, and sad.

But wow...if I'd only been able to get a glimpse of THIS on that cold day in November...

I thought all my dreams of cute bows and girly clothes were lost. She wouldn't be pretty, she would just "look funny," I figured. I figured she would be a sweet baby, but I never expected such a FUN little girl!

I can't believe I thought she'd never giggle and play! I can't believe I thought she would be a little bump in the corner who wouldn't interact with people. If only I could have seen her with her little sister as they wrestle on the floor!

I thought we would never be able to chat about silly things, that she wouldn’t be able to talk clearly, that people would want to shy away from her.

But this morning she has run around the house with her sister, giggling and saying, “So funny! KiKi silly!” over and over. She came up to me while I was typing this to say, “Hi Mommy!” as clear as anyone could say it, and then followed the hug I gave her with “I love you” as she turned to go back to play. She’s a magnet in stores and public places and people just seem drawn to come over and chat with her. She is always happy to oblige.

I feared she wouldn’t learn. But we just finished doing her morning practice for her letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. She got every single letter in the alphabet right in the random flashcards. Twice through. And she’s 3. And she has Down syndrome. But who cares?!? She matched her colors and shapes like she was asked to do. She can name her shapes, and she is getting better with her colors.

She has amazed us over and over, but really all the change and growth has been in ME, for sure. We went from fear over the diagnosis to actually hoping that our second one would have DS when we found out I was pregnant. Crazy, I know! (We kept KiKi even though she was all typical and everything. :o) Ha!)

Not every moment is a party, but they are all so much better than I allowed myself to imagine!


  1. Beautiful!

    I can honestly say that I feel better today about her diagnosis than when she was born, but I'm still a long way from accepting it.

    (And honestly, reading your blog helps me work through all my feelings about it! So thank you!)

  2. Great post RK. What a super blessing she is.

  3. That's it. I am done reading you. I started out with tears in my eyes and ended up with tears in my eyes and had to answer the phone in the middle.

    So at least I will quit reading your blog at work. (It was a lunch break)

  4. Absolutely beautiful...your words...but mostly, your sweet girl.

  5. Well said. We rejoice with you and thank God for Braska! And the whole family!

  6. I can't remember if I told you this before, but there's a young girl, maybe 6 or 7, with DS in the ballet program Lizzy is a part of through the Park District. She participates fully and is part of every year's annual performance. A delight!


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